Beyond The Trophy: Meet Illinois offensive lineman and Chapter President Alex Pihlstrom
Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.
Get To Know Alex Pihlstrom from University of Illinois: The sixth-year senior is the starting center for the Illini has already earned a degree in recreation, sport and tourism and is currently enrolled in the strategic brand communication master’s program. … Alex made his Illini debut in 2019 against Rutgers and over the last two seasons has appeared in 20 games with seven starts. His first start came against Purdue in late October of 2020. … Alex is the University of Illinois Chapter President and was inspired by the passing of a friend from a rare disease to help serve the cause. … Alex is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten and was nominated for the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy this year.
What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?
PIHLSTROM: Earning a scholarship after starting my first game.
What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes?
PIHLSTROM: One of my good friends had a cancer battle with the rare disease Ewing’s Sarcoma and passed away in 2020. I wanted to get involved with Uplifting Athletes to honor his memory and to be involved in something bigger than myself.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know?
PIHLSTROM: I started teaching myself how to play the piano during the COVID-19 quarantine and I walked on Illinois in 2017 as a tight end.
What is the one piece of advice you would give a high school player with aspirations to play college sports?
PIHLSTROM: As well as keeping up physically, you need to make sure that you are training your mind as well.
If you could play another sport, what would it be and why?
PIHLSTROM: Basketball, because I always enjoyed playing it when I was growing up.
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
PIHLSTROM: Tony Gonzalez! Growing up as a Chiefs fan I always wanted to be like him when I played tight end.
HOT SEAT QUESTIONS
What one word best describes you?
Favorite sports team (any sport)?
PIHLSTROM: Chicago Bulls
What is your perfect pizza?
PIHLSTROM: Sausage and mushrooms
What is your go-to fast food restaurant?
PIHLSTROM: Chinese food … chicken and broccoli and potstickers
What interests or hobbies do you have outside of sports?
PIHLSTROM: Play video games and Movies/TV (Marvel and Star Wars)